PBS Tonight!

Shelly and Bobby were on Nightline last night! Their story had me in tears. Wow! Amazed by God's grace in their lives, and the courage He has given them. http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/couples-decision-undergo-risky-prenatal-surgery-30022563?from=related

The whole story airs TONIGHT on PBS at 8pm Eastern.

FREE Jamberry Samples!

Our great friends Ben and Jess came over for my birthday back in January. I noticed Jess had really cute nails! Of course I complimented her on them, and she got really excited because...She got them for me as my birthday gift! I had never heard of Jamberry Nail Wraps, but it didn't take me long to get hooked. Jess let me pick out any two wraps I wanted, and then came back over to help me put them on. I was surprised at how simple it was to apply the wraps. We had so much fun chatting away while we did our nails. Then once the wraps where all on I felt so GOOD about myself. Anything I can do to treat myself as a woman these days is a joy! I loved looking down and seeing my nails done.

The best part is, the nails do not chip or smudge. Amazing, especially considering how many baths I give and how much I wash my hands. They stay on for about 10 days. Mine never did peal, but as my nails grew I was ready for them to be off, and they were really easy to remove.

I should sell these things, ha! The funny thing is, my cousin Heather DID start selling them! She asked me if I would host a "party" for her on Facebook so of course I was happy to help. If you're interested in checking out Jams, let me know and I'll invite you to the party. She is already giving away FREE samples (today and tomorrow) to anyone who wants them, and there will be other give aways during the next week. If you don't have Facebook, you can check out the party here:


Day 1- seriously, they don't chip! 

Day 11 or 12- see? NO chipping! Love!

Tuesday on PBS

I'm SO excited to share this with you all! This Tuesday at 8PM (I guess that's Eastern time) there is a series starting called Twice Born on PBS. It's about couples who have undergone fetal surgery, which is surgery on the baby while the Mom is still pregnant! A friend of mine from VA (she grew up at Reston Bible Church) is going to be in the documentary. Her name is Shelly Ross (husband Bobby). Her daughter, Lu has spina bifida and was supposed to be paralyzed. Her daughter is now 1 and is crawling, pulling up, and expected to walk! The couple have an amazing testimony! Here is a link to preview episode one:

Also, her blog is listed on my blog roll-Shelly & Bobby's Blog, but here it is for easy access: https://shobbyross.wordpress.com/ I appreciate her openness, honesty, and vulnerability as she shares about this journey God has her family on.

My Secret (Not anymore!) Addiction- Part 3

I just wanted to end this series of posts by saying I really don't have it all together nor do I have all the answers. My heart behind these posts is simply to share my own experiences and hopefully encourage others on the same journey. I could write a whole other series on "When My Fears Actually Happen". But the funny thing is, the things I have lived in fear about that have actually happened have never been as bad as I had imagined. God has ALWAYS used those things to some how bring me joy. And He has always healed. The bottom line is, the goodness of God abounds.

I am starting a new writing project, and will hopefully be "published" next Fall. It's a project through my writer's group, and my piece will be printed as part of an art exhibit at our church. Those who have taken on the challenge are going to create a piece of art that has to do with one of the names of God. (There are so MANY!) I haven't picked which  name I am going to write about yet, but God's name, "Yahweh-Shammah: The Lord who is present" has really caught my eye. Here's the link to the website that lists the names of God as well as a cool song that was shared with all the artists.

I don't think there's any better way to conclude this series then by saying praise God- THE LORD WHO IS PRESENT- that those of us who follow Christ don't have to be shackled by fear, but can live in the peace of His presence.

My Secret Addiction- Part 2

So I wonder if anyone out there can relate to struggling with fear- whether rational or not? Obviously I know my three friends and I are not the only ones. I have been feeling so burdened to write these posts on fear, even though there are many other things I could be doing right now. (Don't worry, both babies are asleep.) I've been learning a lot and just want to share some things that have been helpful to me.

Chuck and I read the book, "Love and Respect" not too long ago, which is a good book on marriage. In his book the author talks about "the crazy cycle". His version of "the crazy cycle" has to do with fighting and arguing, but I liked the phrase so I'm going to borrow it. The way I described being consumed with fear in my last post is my own version of the crazy cycle. I do feel like I'm going crazy sometimes when I'm consumed with fear. 

The thing about fear is that I believe it's one of those pardonable sins. It's under the surface, it's hidden, it's not something I have sensed Christians fighting against like we do against other sins. The consequences of fear are great, but not necessarily easy to put a finger on. As I've realized this, I have begun to fight back. I have begun to say NO to fear, and God has been helping me move forward. 

During my last huge crazy cycle about the lump in Jase's neck, I learned a few valuable lessons. I don't believe there are "three steps to a peaceful life", but there are definitely steps that have helped me lately. I may always struggle with fear, but I refuse to believe fear will consume me for the rest of my life. Jesus died so that I could live FREE from fear! I claim that Truth, and I claim it often. 

Step 1: I admitted out loud to Chuck and my Mom that I was very, very afraid. At first I was really embarrassed to admit I was still consumed with the lump on Jase's neck even though the doctor already said it was normal. I didn't want to tell them my fear because I felt so silly. I believe that's what the enemy wants me to believe- the lie that I should be ashamed. Shame is a tool of the enemy that keeps me from being honest about my struggles. He wants me to keep my fear hidden, but God wants me to live free! When I finally admitted my fear out loud, it didn't seem as scary. I was no longer suffering alone in my head, but I had others to support me and speak Truth to me. The light began to fill me when I spoke my fear out loud to others. 

Step 2: Instead of saying verses over and over about fear, I began to memorize verses about peace and light. Many verses say, "do not fear" but the more I told myself not to fear, the more fearful I was! So my Mom suggested taking my focus off of the fear, and putting that focus on something else. The first verse I chose was Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit that comes from having the Holy Spirit in our lives is love, joy, PEACE...". When my focus shifted to peace, more light began to fill me. 

Step 3: Worship music! Ohhhhh how I love worship music! One of my greatest joys in life is celebrating who Jesus is by singing, and by listening to others sing. God has given me some amazing songs that have spoken directly to my soul- especially in the midst of my most recent crazy cycle. For Christmas my in-laws gave me a really great album called, "You Make Me Brave" by Bethel Live. I had been playing it in my car so I had slowly gotten to know some of the songs, but hadn't really connected to any of them. During the worst point in the crazy cycle I was some how directed to the song, "Forever" by Kari Jobe on my phone. (Wish I could remember how, outside of the Spirit's leading, of course!) I then looked up the song on YouTube and fell in love with the live version. The next day I had to drive to the doctor, and that very song was playing on my Bethel Live CD! Then- the GRAND FINALE- just happened on Sunday. I went to our church for the first time since Christmas, and I was running late. I found a seat in time to hear the end of one song. Can you guess what the very next song we sang was? Oh yay. It was "Forever". Is God not so amazing?! 

Well, like I said, I'm not trying to claim that these three steps will cure your fears. They haven't cured mine, but they've been a big help! If you have any thing that helps YOU with overcoming fears, I would love to hear them. I also want to let you know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE if you struggle with fear. I'm right there with you, and I'd love to talk/text/email with you if you want.

You've got a friend in me. =)

*** Part 3 coming soon. 

My Secret Addiction- Part I

I've shared pretty openly on this blog about how afraid I can be of things. I've asked for prayer over my fears, and I've even admitted some of those fears. Because they've read my posts, I've had a few friends share with  me recently about their own battles with fear, anxiety, and worry. Struggling with fear is like living in a nightmare hundreds of times a day. And then at night, actually having nightmares. When a person is afraid, there is no place to hide. No place feels safe. Fear is all-consuming. It's a dark cloud hanging over one's head. It robs people of joy making their days long, exhausting, and well, terrifying.

As I mentioned, three friends shared with me recently about their struggles with fear. Each friend shared in a different way. One shared in person, the other shared over the phone, and the third shared via email. This has got me thinking a lot about the topic, and I want to help others put an end to this battle. I want to see my own battle come to an end, too.  My heart aches for each woman who shared because I know the prison they are living in at times. You see, I'm addicted to fear. Just like an alcoholic is always an alcoholic even when they are sober, so I am a fear addict even when there are moments I do live in peace.

Let me give you an examples of the way in which I can be consumed with fear. The day I got out of the hospital after delivering Basye I was upstairs and had decided to go downstairs to ask Chuck a question. I was at the top of the stairs when I heard my Mom say to Chuck, "I don't want to tell Ab this, but I feel a lump in Jase's neck." As you can imagine, I immediately began to examine Jase's neck myself. Though I couldn't actually feel anything, the seed had been planted, and I began to worry. Both babies already had a doctor's appointment for that Friday (just 2 days later), but I was convinced I needed to call the doctor and take Jase right in to have it checked. I WANTED THE PEACE OF MIND. I CRAVED peace of mind.

Thankfully Chuck was able to bring me down to reality and encouraged me to just wait for the regularly scheduled appointment. I hated waiting. I was already quarantined from my babies and family for fear they would catch the flu, and then I had to contend with my own mind about yet another issue. The two day wait was torture. When Chuck finally came home from the appointment that Friday, my heart was pounding (having just lost a lot of blood didn't help!). It was awful waiting for him to come upstairs and give me the report about Jase's neck. I had already imagined the doctor confirming my fears- that Jase had a tumor in his neck. Yet that wasn't the case at all. "The lump" was a normal lymph node that his doctor said she see's "a hundred times a day". What an amazing relief! Or it should have been. I had relief until a couple nights later when I was holding Jase as he was sleeping and his neck was turned in a certain way. That allowed me to finally feel the lump myself and my heart skipped into an utter panic.

Even though the doctor had already checked that lump I was still very, very afraid. The moment my finger brushed against that lymph node, I internally turned the key to unlock the door of The Prison of Fear. I sentenced myself to that prison and lived there for days. My hands and feet and mind were all shackled to that one thought, "Jase has a tumor!" Some of you may find this funny because it really sounds ridiculous. I fully realize this. But that realization never changes anything for me. I still lived in terror that Jase had a tumor. I no longer enjoyed rubbing his sweet neck, or listening to his precious giggles, or holding him in my arms, or kissing his neck because I was miserable believing he had cancer. I was sick inside about this, and I couldn't think about much else.

In the mean time, I was also very afraid for Basye about a physical thing with her, but I won't bombard you with that story since this post is already long enough. I just want you to feel the terror, to experience the prison I live in when I give into such fears. Does anybody else find themselves there, too? It's my choice to give in to fears, whether realistic or not, and all too often I choose to lock myself up. I'm addicted.


Stay tuned, if you would. I promise there will be peace at the end of the tunnel. =)


Well, my big toe is THROBBING and a little someone is fussing because he's stuck in his crib and it's time for dinner, so I'll be brief. (If you're wondering about my toe, there was some sordof pedicure-gone-wrong incident. I still don't know what happened, but I am going to soak my toe in epsom salt for a couple days and hope that helps! The triple antibiotic ointment doesn't seem to be doing the trick.)

Today is verse six for the Siesta Scripture Memory Team. I have chosen 2 Corinthians 4:7, NLT: "We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves." A missionary from Thailand spoke at our church this morning and he ended with this verse. It was a great, practical message and I want to dwell on this verse for the next two weeks. Chuck actually had to remind me last night that our new verse was due. The weeks are flying by, people. I am really, really enjoying memorizing these verses. Sometimes it's the only Scripture in my day and it gives me amazing access to Jesus!  

OK, wish me luck taking care of those babies as I hobble around with this aching toe! (Seriously?!!) 

7 Weeks

After 7 weeks, we finally got a picture of all four of us together! Chuck's parents were visiting so they took some pictures for us. I'm way too tired to write much more. Both babies should be napping right now, but one won't settle down enough for me to take a nap. I can barely keep my eyes open. It's the perfect day for a nap, too- raining and WARM! 

Mama & Babies

Chuck took the high school students on a retreat last weekend. Since I'm the biggest chicken on the planet when it comes to staying home alone at night, and taking care of two babies alone all weekend sounded way too overwhelming, Chuck drove the babies and me up to my parent's for a few days. There were many special moments while I was there- as always. Visiting my parents is probably one of my most favorite things to do. I am always refreshed, renewed, and revived while I am there. 

Jase and I were both able to get hair cuts. He is TERRIFIED of getting his hair cut (I believe it stems from his last experience at the doctor when he got 5 shots AND blood work- awful.) But my Mom gave him her phone and he was eventually distracted by videos of himself. ;) I got to introduce Basye to Sharon (my hair dresser/mentor) for the first time- I'm upset that I didn't get a picture of them together. Sharon has been doing my hair since I was in middle school! She even did my hair for my wedding. Every time I sit in her chair, it's pretty much guaranteed Jesus will speak directly to my heart through Sharon. This time was no exception. I really want to write a post about some things that started to take shape in my heart while we talked, but time for deep reflection and writing isn't exactly part of my life right now. Ha!

Visiting my parents means I usually get to see two of my best friends, too. Thanks to my Mom, I had a lot of baby-free time. Amber and I went to Panera, then she joined me back at the house for dinner. She stayed with me all evening and was a huge help with the babies! It's crazy how chaotic things get around dinner and bed time.The next day Katie joined the party and we all lived it up at Starbucks. I can't thank my Mom (and Dad!) enough for allowing me the chance to get out with the girls. It was my first social outing since Basye was born. I even got to attend a church service for the first time since Christmas. Since I was actually dressed and ready, I FINALLY got my picture taken with both babes. Sadly, we have yet to get a picture taken with all four of us!! 

Thank you to my selfless husband for driving us up and back! Thank you to my wonderful parents for taking care of me and my kids! Thank you Jesus for the sweetest blessings in the exact ways I needed them. Grateful. 

It's amazing what a difference mascara makes- I look so weird here without it.  But I sure do love these beautiful ladies. 

Not so sure about this.

Too cute in this apron- melts my heart.

Hard to get a picture with everyone looking without moving.

Check out the drool, haha!

My heart.